Mastering GMAT Reading Comprehension: 3 Best Practices

Categories : Reading Comprehension

Mastering GMAT Reading ComprehensionStaying still and reading 600 to 1000 word passages seem a daunting task for most. In regular reading, we skim the content, look for titles & subtitles, and try to pick the gist of the passage. This process cannot be followed in GMAT Reading Comprehension passages where answering the question require paying close attention to keywords, the tone of the author, and other details embedded in the passage.

1) Read the Message not the Word

Even though GMAT RC requires test takers to pay close attention, reading every word and forcing yourself through the passage is a sign of a poor reader. Instead, read the passage for the message and not the word. If the passage has a question specific to a passage or the “word” used in the passage, you can always go back to the text and figure it out. Most questions will be related to the Main Idea of the passage, tone of the author, Title, Inference, Organization of the passage, and assumptions.

To go beyond the words, and read the message, you have to develop a habit of reading a line. This can be tricky early on and need practice. Even though you feel that you have missed important information our brains are receptive and much more capable than we anticipate. Reading a line with a one-sweep eyeball movement can capture a lot more than reading each word. Start practicing speed-reading during practice, and after reading 5-10 passage, you will be comfortable with this practice, and the accuracy rate will improve considerably.

2) Set Targets

When you have targets before reading a passage, you are likely to read with purpose. We are not talking about the accuracy or timing...

Solving GMAT Reading comprehension inference question

Categories : Reading Comprehension

GMAT RC Inference QuestionGMAT RC inference questions are one of the toughest question types. You can’t skim the content and infer. When you see the question framed as: "It can be inferred from the passage that" or “author's which statement do you agree to..” or “What do you mean by the word or phrase” , they are variations of the Inference question type.

Strategies to Solve GMAT Reading Comprehension Inference Question Type

1) Locate

Inference questions are most likely to quote a statement, phrase, or a word used by the author. Locate the paragraph. Once you know the paragraph, it becomes easier for you to dissect the author’s thoughts depending upon how the author has structured the passage.

2) Main Idea

This is a shortcut that many test takers miss. Once you note down the paragraph that the question is referring, create the summary of each paragraph, including the paragraph that is not referred. After understanding the main idea behind each paragraph and the passage in total, it becomes easier for you to infer the author’s point.

3) Underlying Meaning

The phrases and words used by the author cannot be taken on a literal sense. Look for context, primarily through paragraph summary, and understand the underlying meaning behind the statement. Can we go beyond the literal and find an alternative explanation?

4) Avoid Personal Assumption

While we logically group statements under an idea, it should never contradict the main idea of the passage, which we have reached in Step 1. This often happens when we include our personal biases and...

IIMA vs ISB: 8 Key Differences that you should Know

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) was founded in 1967 by the Government of India in collaboration with business visionaries. Today, it has cult status among Indian B-school aspirants and has grown into an EQUIS-Accredited internationally recognized management institution. Indian School of Business (ISB) was founded by a group of eminent industrialists and academicians in association with Kellogg and Wharton. The first student intake was in 2001, and in just a decade, the school is now nipping at the heels of IIMA for the title of India’s best B-school in most international rankings.

Although Indian B-schools rankings do not rate the AACSB-accredited ISB, students both in India and abroad have a fuzzy perception of how these two MBA behemoths compare with each other. Some say it is like comparing apples and oranges; which is partially true, but we have undertaken the challenging task of sizing them against each other.

Do note that in India, MBA degrees can only be given by universities. That is why B-Schools here offer management diplomas equivalent to an MBA, and both IIM and ISB call theirs – PGP or Post Graduate Program.

1) Course duration

The MBA program at ISB follows the European 1-year model whereas IIMA follows the US-style, 2-year MBA. Therefore, ISB demands a shorter career-break, but IIMA requires a longer interruption of 2-years. Though ISB provides a minimum classroom contact of 680 hours, similar to US’ B-schools, IIMA’s course is obviously a more in-depth learning experience.


2) Size

How to Read Faster: GMAT Reading Comprehension

Categories : Reading Comprehension

GMAT Speed ReadingWith world war II, 9-5 jobs emerged. Documentation became an integral part of an office job. Reading through hundreds of documents, and filtering the must have from the routine was one skill that Employers treasured. That is when in late 1950s, Evelyn Wood coined the term "speed reading". A researcher and a schoolteacher, Mrs. Wood was fascinated by the difference in reading speed of equally qualified professionals. In an act of desperately finishing a book, she used the sweeping motion of her hand to read chunks of sentences. This technique later became the basis for “Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Dynamics.”

While preparing for GMAT, Students are apprehensive about using speed-reading courses citing lack of evidence in comprehension. The worry is qualified as aggressive reading in place of speed-reading can decrease comprehension. Skimming Techniques help you answer ‘title of the passage’ question but is ineffective in details question and inference questions in some cases. A combination of speed-reading and comprehensive reading is the solution.

Before you start adopting a technique:

1) Pick dense reading material

GMAT reading comprehension passages are about ecology, historical events, policy decisions or one of the latest research papers from Scientific Journal. Test creators ensures that you have limited or no knowledge of the reading material. This forces you to depend on the passage for information.

2) Measure your performance

After you have picked up a dense reading material, it is time to measure your reading speed. The most common metric is words per minute, but that limits your ability to measure...

Michigan Automobile Industry (2017 Snapshot)

5,00,000 people or 15% of the workforce in the state is employed in the automobile industry while producing 23% of all US vehicles. Also known as the Great Lakes State, Michigan rose to the title of the ‘Automobile capital of the world,’ through the dominance of Detroit in the early 20th century and during the period of great growth till 1970. The brands evolved from Henry Ford, Walter P Chrysler, and French explorer - Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac (discovered Detroit), finds instant recognition in popular culture around the world. Three dominant automakers – General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, led the American car market till 1960 before the Japanese and German compact cars found special interest in the US.

The exuberance of the silent generation didn’t match up to the realities of the oil market. America’s reliance on the Middle East for oil made the supersized cars irrelevant. The three auto giants moved slowly to the changing demands of the market. Unionization of the industry in the 1930s helped the workers set a standard for working condition and livable wage.

The companies, shining fresh on the consumer’s appetite for automobiles obliged. The rise of the middle class followed till 1960. When Global markets opened up, and consumers’ patriotic fervor oozed out into ‘free love’ and ‘individuality,’ American automakers registered a loss. At the same time, low-skilled workers, persuaded by the favorable working condition, began moving from the South to the City. American car manufacturers could no longer recall World War II atrocities to dissuade consumers from purchasing German or Japanese cars. Faced with cost pressures and market share, American auto giants moved to suburbs, looking for low wages. Detroit’s relevance slumped. In 2013, the city declared bankruptcy with an estimated debt of $18 billion.


Indiana Life Sciences (2017 Snapshot)

When the US and Indiana economy was going through the 2008 financial crisis, the Life Science industry in the state continued to grow, registering a 22% job growth since 2001, accounting for 1 in every 10 jobs. From 2010 to 2014, the number of scientist and engineers has grown by 53% and 34% respectively, setting the foundation for innovation. The presence of titans – Eli Lilly, Cook Medical and Dow Agrosciences and 1700+ companies in Life Science industry have maintained the demand for scientists and engineers, in addition to employing over 56000+ professionals in the state.

The industry generated, one third of the state’s exports, contributing $65 billion in economic output, earning the state the title of the second largest exporter of life science products in the US. The $582 million R&D investments into research universities and companies have translated to 1211 patents and 83 commercial products.

Life Sciences Indiana Top Employers
Among the many innovators from Indiana, Bill Eason’s story is particularly interesting. As a chemical engineer, he was frustrated to learn that it takes 7 to 10 days to get blood test back. To develop a faster device, Eason left Ford Motor Company and tinkered around with a blood diagnostic device in his Indianapolis garage. The breakthrough came with the invention of Unimeter, the first point-of-care blood diagnostic device in the world that was a precursor to the now ubiquitous Accu-Chek brand. The invention changed the world of diabetes care forever. In the 1960s, Bill founded Bio-Dynamics to commercialize the product that later was acquired by Boehringer Mannheim, and finally the Roche Diagnostics’ North American division.

To spearhead innovation in Life Science, the...

Connecticut Finance Industry (2017 Snapshot)

Connecticut is #1 in the US for per capita income, mostly, from the presence of the world’s leading hedge fund managers in Greenwich. If the hedge fund industry is taken out of the picture, the state still ranks #4 in the US, behind Maryland, Alaska, and New Jersey.

Hedge Fund

In terms of the total assets under management, Connecticut ranks #2 in the list of hedge funds in the US ($334 bn), behind New York, and well ahead of California. 202 hedge fund managers distributed across Greenwich, Stanford, and four other cities in the state, actively manage 616 Connecticut-based hedge funds.

Top 5 States in USA Hedge Funds
The proximity to New York (2 hour drive), lower income tax($100k for $1 million income in New York vs. $67k in CT), lower estate tax ($3.5 million for $25 million in New York vs. $2.5 million in CT), close-knit community and real estate that offers lavish 10-acre homes instead of cramped luxury apartments for the same price, pushed former fund managers to set their shop in Connecticut.

Top 5 Hedge Fund US Companies
The strength of the Finance industry in the state comes from the larger demographic working in the sector (20%), even higher than New York City (12.4%).

Incentives in New Jersey and Florida have not led to a mass migration of Hedge fund giants precisely due to his reason. The skills required to create finance models using machine learning, execute complex investment strategies, follow regulatory compliance, complete deep research and...

North Carolina Technology Industry (2017 Snapshot)

North Carolina Technology IndustryThe ICT industry has grown by 38% over the past years, employing over 126,000 professionals. One reason for the technology workforce is the state’s performance as a STEM hub, ranking at #2 in South East United States. The Centennial Campus has acted as an enabler for the growth in the sector, bringing government, industry experts, and students under one roof. The 1000+ acre campus provides incubation service for technology companies serving in networking, advanced analytics, nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, and biomanufacturing.

Although not as famous as the Stanford Industrial Park, the Research Triangle Park (RTP), created in 1959, is one of the largest research parks, powered by the intellect of three leading universities in the region - Duke University, NC State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Familiar revenue source and lack of innovation nearly cost NC its economy when in the mid-1950s, the state had the lowest per capita income in the nation. The lack of infrastructure to support specializations led to a massive brain drain.

RTP was established to reverse the talent outflow. The park is divided into clusters to supports 11 technology sub-sectors: Advanced Medical Care, Agriculture Biotechnology, Cleantech, Analytical Instrumentation, Biological Agents and Infectious Diseases, Informatics, Defense Technologies,  Interactive Gaming And E-Learning, Nanoscale Technologies, Pervasive Computing, and Pharmaceuticals. Although the workforce strength and sales give the impression that technology is a major force in the state, the real health of the sector is measured through Location Quotients (LQ). A...

Minnesota Technology Industry (2017 Snapshot)

The technology industry in the state contributed 7.5% of the total state’s gross product, with a payroll of $13.3 billion in 2015. If the number of patents in the State is a measure of innovation in the industry, Minnesota saw a three times growth in Patents from 1992 to 2014. IBM, Medtronic, and 3M were the prime contributors, registering a combined total of 5286 patents. 80% of the Patents were in medical devices (surgery) sub-sector and technology-specific innovation mostly in the data processing and information storage niche.

Venture Capital investments since 2005 in the state have added up to $3.3 billion. However, IT services or software attracted only 16.74% of the total investments, much below the 57% attracted by the Medical Devices and Equipment industry. Angel investment is a different story. The 25% tax credit that was introduced in 2010 as part of the Minnesota's Angel Tax Credit, brought in over $250 million in start-up investments.

The hidden gem among the technology companies is the UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s data services subsidiary – Optum. Unable to handle millions of simultaneous request after the landmark Affordable Care Act, the national healthcare exchange website - healthcare.gov, crashed. Optum came to the rescue and the impressive workaround earned the company contracts worth $31 million for Maryland, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.

Social Service agencies and state officials started seeking the assistance of the technology subsidiary. The company earned $1.1 billion in the short-term building computer systems for social service agencies. The trend continued. Optum, now, is a leading data system provider for hospitals, clinics, and health insurance companies in the US with 2016 revenue crossing $83 billion.


Washington Aerospace Industry (2017 Snapshot)

For the year 2015, the aerospace industry in the state generated $69.9 billion, a 7.9% annual growth rate since 2005. $51.6 billion from the revenue was generated from exports to other states. The core employment is in the aerospace industry (93,800), but the ancillary industries (flight training, equipment, and carbon-fiber manufacturing) contributed 136,100 in jobs, for the year 2015. The average salary of an aerospace employee, excluding health benefits, was $107,000 – higher than what some MBAs receive in top MBA programs. This is because; nearly 95% of all the commercial aircraft currently produced in North America comes from Washington.

The state’s legacy started from one name – Boeing.

Officially incorporated in 1916, Boeing’s ascension in the aircraft industry began when the Founder – William E. Boeing, found a unique way to capitalize on the cyclical nature of the Northwest timber industry. After earning his fortune in the Timber Industry, Boeing, started a small airplane manufacturing plant, using the knowledge of Timber and wooden design structures as most airplanes initially were made of wood. The supply of Spruce Wood in the Seattle region was a reason to incorporate Boeing in Washington.

Over the past 100 years, Boeing has manufactured iconic aircraft models from the factories in the state. The latest in the thousands of aircraft from Washington include the 737 MAX, 777 X, and 787 Dreamliner. With war becoming less frequent, the military contracts were replaced by contracts for commercial airlines and space ventures.

Washington Aerospace Specialization
SpaceX and Virgin Galactic’s entry into Space travel...